Brookings police warn of scammer posing as law enforcement

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 11:32 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Authorities responded to an emergency call on Thursday to a business in the northern part of Brookings which resulted in the discovery of a scam involving a suspect posing as a law enforcement officer.

According to the Brookings Police Department, around 11:00 p.m., a manager reported an employee had taken cash from their business. The employee’s vehicle was found traveling near the 700 block of 8th Street South. When the officer stopped the employee, a bank bag with a large amount of money was discovered in the vehicle.

The employee was on the phone with an individual who claimed to be with the South Dakota State Police. An officer spoke on the phone with the individual, who claimed to be a lieutenant conducting a sting operation. It was determined the individual was not associated with any law enforcement agency and was orchestrating a scam.

The caller contacted the employee via the business line at their work and claimed to need the employee’s help retrieving stolen money. The caller told the employee not to tell any other employees about the operation and to call back on their personal cell. The caller then instructed the employee to take the cash, drive to Hy-Vee, and load MoneyLink cards with the money.

“Do not give anyone any personal information, account information, or purchase any type of money card, or gift card if requested to do so over the telephone,” said Adam Smith, a detective with the Brookings Police Criminal Investigation Division. “The Brookings Police Department, or any law enforcement agency for that matter, will ever contact anyone by telephone and ask for personal (or) account information, or payment of any kind to assist with police activities.”

The investigation into the caller and their location is ongoing. The total amount of money lost as a result of the scam was around $1,200.